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The study investigates the role of ICT on educational development in Nigeria. ICT in Education is an instrument par excellence that a nation can rely upon to bring about self-reliance. The study observed that Nigeria still experience a lag in its implementation, and this continue to widen the digital and knowledge divides and the access to ICT facilities is a major challenge facing most African countries. The study concludes that despite the roles ICT can play in education, schools in Nigeria have yet to extensively adopt them for teaching and learning. Efforts geared towards integration of ICT into the school system have not had much impact. Problems such as poor policy, project implementation strategies and poor information infrastructure militate against these efforts. The study recommends that efforts should be made by government to post and provide teachers skilled in ICT to each school to impart ICT skills to the student and also should stabilize electricity supply in Nigeria.
1.0 Background to Study
Information and communication technology (ICT) is one of the most important driving forces promoting economic growth in the economy. However, there is less of a consensus among economists on whether the impact of ICT also stems from higher total factor productivity (TFP) growth and improved efficiency of production (due to a better educated population). During the last two decades countries have invested heavily in ICT. Indeed, the use of ICT in education and training has been a key priority in Nigeria in the last decade, although progress has been uneven. ICT has had a major impact on the education sector, on organisation and on teaching and learning methods. Yet there are considerably different ICT expenditure levels between institutions within the country. Some schools have embedded ICT into the curriculum, and demonstrate high levels of effective and appropriate ICT use to support teaching and learning across a wide range of subject areas. However, some other schools are in the early phase of adopting ICT, characterised by important enhancements of the learning process, some developments of e-learning (ICT-enabled learning), but without any profound improvements in learning and teaching (Balanskat et al., 2006).
One puzzling question concerns the effective impact of these technologies on educational outputs and outcomes. As ICTs are being increasingly used in education, indicators to monitor their impact and demonstrate accountability to funding sources and the public are ever more needed. Indicators are required to show the relationships between technology use and educational performance.
ICT can be defined as computer based tools and techniques for gathering and using information. It encompasses the hardware and software, the network and several other devices (video, audio, photographic camera, etc) that can convert information, images, and sound into common digital form. It includes electronic information in processing technologies such as computer and internet, as well as fixed-line telecommunication networks. ICT is an eclectic application of computing, communication, telecommunication and satellite technology (Yusuf, 2000). The information accessed through digital technologies can promote innovation, increase productivity and enrich the quality of lives. ICT in education is broad, deep and rapidly growing field of study (Moursund, 2005). ICT utilizes a broad range of technologies that are applied in the process of collecting, storing, editing, retrieving and transfer of information in various forms. One of the major factors or agencies of national development and global competitiveness is Education.
1.1 Statement of Problem
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are electronic technologies used for information storage and retrieval. Development is partly determined by the ability to establish a synergistic interaction between technological innovation and human values. The rapid rate at which ICTs have evolved since the mid-20th century, the convergence and pervasiveness of ICTs, give them a strong role in development and globalization.
The field of education has been affected by ICTs, which have undoubtedly affected teaching, learning, and research. ICTs have the potential to accelerate, enrich, and deepen skills, to motivate and engage students, to help relate school experience to work practices, create economic viability for tomorrow's workers, as well as strengthening teaching and helping schools change (Davis and Tearle, 2010; Yusuf, 2011). In a rapidly changing world, computer education is essential for an individual to be able to access and apply information. The Economic Commission for Africa has indicated that the ability to access and use information is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for development. Unfortunately, many developing counties, especially in Africa, are still backward in ICT application and use (Aduwa-Ogiegbean and Iyamu, 2008).This paper focuses on ICT use in Nigerian schools, it particularly dwells on the importance of ICT and the causes of low levels of ICT use in Nigerian schools as well as provides recommendations.
As Nigeria is striving hard to play a leadership role in Africa, particularly in the period of pragmatic and competitive science and technology, there is an urgent need to pay more prominent attention to the improvement of teaching and learning particularly in Nigerian tertiary institutions. This entails the adoption of information, communication technology (ICT) in the institution. The ICT is an invaluable intervention of this modern time. Its inherent attributes such as accuracy, high speed performance, reliability and capability to store very large amount of data have made it possible for its applicability to all human endeavours including teaching, learning and research in educational institutions. This study is specifically set out to critically appraise the role of information, communication technology as a change agent for higher education in Nigeria. It also examines the implication and challenges of ICT on the development of higher education in Nigeria.
1.2 Objectives of Study
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become inseparable entities in all aspects of human life. The use of ICT has fundamentally changed the practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavour within business, governance and civil service. In education, ICT has begun to have a presence but the impact has not been as extensive as in other fields of endeavour. The moving of the world to digital media and information has made the role of ICT in education to become more important and this importance will continue to grow and develop in the 21st century. Information and communication technology (ICT) is an indispensable part of the contemporary world. In fact, culture and society have to be adjusted to meet the challenges of the knowledge age. Undoubtedly ICT has impacted on the quality and quantity of teaching, learning and research in tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria. The various constraints to ICT utilisation as a change agent for higher education must receive prominent attention, for the ICT to continue playing its lofty role as a change agent for Nigerian educational development. The specific objectives are;
1. How efficient is the Information, Communication Technology in performing its lofty role as a change agent for educational development in Nigeria?
2. What are the constraints to effective utilisation of Information, Communication Technology as a change agent for educational development in Nigeria?
1.3 Research hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were generated to guide the study.
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the type of tertiary institutions of the academic staff and their level of awareness of the role of Information, Communication and Technology as a change agent for educational development in Nigeria.
Ho2: The gender of the academic staff is not significantly related to their perception of effectiveness of Information, communication Technology utilisation as a change agent for educational development in Nigeria.
1.4 Significance of Study
The significance of this study cannot be overestimated as it is obvious that ICT has the potential to accelerate, enrich and deepen basic skills in teaching and learning, it also helps in motivating and encouraging students in learning, as they are encouraged to be more dependent and responsible for their own learning. Most importantly, this study provides basic understanding of ICT pervasiveness in education and strengthen teaching and learning, to provide powerful resources and services for students, thereby enabling them to meet their individual needs and also for networking among students and teachers. Thus teachers and students are more connected to each other. This study on the role of ICT on the educational development of Nigeria is of great importance as it analyses the impact of ICT on the educational sector, considers the importance of ICT, challenges and prospects.
This study is significant to the federal government on reforming the academic sector and the academic institutions in Nigeria, as well as the public and researchers who are interested in writing works related to this subject matter.
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